- زمان مطالعه 7 دقیقه
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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
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متن انگلیسی فصل
Although Alexander’s achievements had spread Greek customs far into Asia, the Greeks in Europe were pleased about his death and decided to fight for their independence. To them, he was still a foreigner. But the Persians, who had lost an empire and hundreds of thousands of men because of Alexander, were very upset when they heard that he had died. King Darius’s mother, who had become Alexander’s prisoner after the Battle of Issus, stopped eating when she heard the news, and was dead herself five days later. Alexander had become the Persians’ Great King, whose rule followed the traditions of the past. He had been their friend as well as their conqueror. And, rightly, they feared a future without him.
Alexander died with no close male relative except his brother Arrhidaeus, who had learning difficulties. But Roxane, Alexander’s first wife, was soon going to have a baby. Alexander’s friends decided to make the unborn child the next king, if the baby was a boy. Alexander’s friend Perdiccas, who had been his second-in-command after the death of Hephaistion and had royal blood himself, would rule until the baby grew up.
But the common soldiers wanted Arrhidaeus as their king, as he was fully Macedonian and Roxane’s baby had Asian blood. Less than a week after Alexander’s death, fighting began. It was only stopped when Perdiccas ordered the death of thirty of the soldiers leaders and they were thrown to the elephants. It was agreed that rule would be shared between Roxane’s baby and Arrhidaeus.
There were many years of confusion in the empire that Alexander had built. The story of Alexander’s dead body is typical of the times. It was believed that the body’s final resting place would bring good luck to the local people. Perdiccas ordered his men to take it from Babylon to Macedonia in a box of gold. But Ptolemy, who had been a close friend of Alexander and had recently made himself king of an independent Egypt, took the body in secret to Egyptian Alexandria, where it stayed for hundreds of years.
During the years after Alexander’s death, Roxane poisoned Alexander’s other wives to protect the power of her baby son, also called Alexander. Perdiccas ruled for a short time, until he was murdered by his bodyguards. Alexander’s most loyal commanders all wanted power for themselves, and they were willing to murder people to get it.
Antipater was the general who had controlled the Macedonian army in Europe while Alexander was in Asia. When Antipater died of old age, his son Cassander took control of Macedonia. Alexander’s mother, Olympias, was officially in charge of Macedonia and tried to protect her power. She murdered King Arrhidaeus, her husband’s son and Alexander’s half-brother, and defended herself in the Macedonian town of Pydna. But Cassander put the town under siege. After nine months she had no food, and she died proudly. Cassander then killed Roxane and her son, who were visiting Greece, and made himself King of Macedonia.
The Macedonians soon sold the lands that Alexander had conquered in India; they received 500 elephants for them. Many years later, these lands were reconquered by the Greek-speaking kings of Bactria, whose family had been started by one of Alexander’s Macedonian governors.
After years of fighting, two of Alexander’s commanders controlled most of his empire. Ptolemy was King of Egypt and Seleucus king of the Asian empire. The families of both men stayed in power until their lands were conquered by the Romans in the first century BC.
All over Alexander’s empire, Greek-style cities had been built. Their populations were mostly European, and became perhaps more Greek in their habits as the years passed. In some areas, they preferred to marry their sister, niece or granddaughter than to join their family with the foreigners that surrounded them. Each city had a gymnasium, and held sporting competitions and theatre performances. In Afghanistan, buildings and works of art have been discovered which copied exactly the artistic styles of Greece. The works of Homer, Plato and Aristotle were read and enjoyed in India and even across the sea in Sri Lanka.
The greatest of Alexander’s new cities was Alexandria, the capital of Egypt under the Ptolemaic kings. While many parts of Alexander’s empire suffered from continued fighting, Egypt lived in peace and grew in power. Its economy was very successful; from Alexandria, ships took paper, medicines, jewellery and art all over the known world.
The Ptolemaic kings mixed Greek customs with Egyptian traditions, and built temples to both Greek and Egyptian gods. They were very interested in literature, philosophy and science, and invited the most famous writers of their age to live in Alexandria. Out of this collection of great men grew a great idea: a library that brought together all Greek knowledge and included every book that had ever been written. At its largest, this library held 50,000 books - not a lot compared to the great modern libraries, but in a world before printing machines this was an extraordinary number.
Among these books was a growing collection of histories of Alexander’s life. Some of them were interested in the facts; others told romantic stories that were completely untrue. They said that he and his warhorse Bucephalas each had two horns on their heads. They told of strange flying machines, a Valley of Diamonds, and the secret of immortality. Alexander’s legend was told from Iceland to China; in death he travelled far beyond the borders of his own empire.
Over the years, interest in Alexander has been shown in many different ways. He appears in the Book of Daniel, which was written in Hebrew in the second century BC and now forms part of the Christian Bible. He was the hero of Julius Caesar, Rome’s greatest general. The Italian artist Michelangelo created a square in Rome to look like Alexander’s famous shield. The French ruler Napoleon used to read about Alexander in bed every night. In the early 1900s, tribal kings in Afghanistan still went into battle carrying a red flag which, according to their legends, had belonged to Alexander. And in 2004, Alexander’s extraordinary story was brought to life in a $155 million Hollywood film. It starred Colin Farrell as Alexander and was watched in cinemas all around the world. Alexander the Great may be more famous in the twenty-first century than he ever was.
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